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Last January Ann and I looked over our expenses for the previous year. This is easy since we buy absolutely everything on credit cards, accruing massive amounts of frequent flyer miles and points. After assessing our transactions from 2011, we saw that there were many areas for us to cut back on our spending. We decided that we could each cut our spending patterns back by $5.00 per day, which would give us an additional $3,650 to invest this year. We also talked about ways we could gain additional income and committed to trying to make an extra $10 a day between our three online businesses (silver sales, t-shirt sales, and design work). Just these two commitments alone would give us an extra $7,300 to invest for the year.
So far we are on target! I have had to resist my craving for iced girly drinks. Ann has had to resist buying a cuddly new mountain fleece this year. Additionally, we have cut our daily food budget down to $18 per day when on the road (that’s $3 per meal). Going out to eat is an extremely rare and budgeted treat! For us being frugal is fun and requires us to be very creative sometimes. We high five each other when we score great deals or resist the things that we know we don’t need.
We are Investing in the Kingdom of Heaven. God has been teaching us how much more wonderful it is to give of our time and money than to receive it. Investing in Heaven will by far give us the greatest return. We have branched out and not only put money into our own ministries, but also are giving to a few different missionaries this year. Partnering with them is an exciting endeavor!
We are Investing in our Experiences. Experiences are what make our lives richer and deeper. Our dream for this summer is to climb El Capitan together. We have never been on a multi-day big wall together and think it will be good for us. We get to Yosemite tomorrow so we will see if it happens.
We are Investing into our Marriage. The idea to go to a Christian Counselor met no resistance when it was brought up during one of our disputes. Our marriage is our most valuable asset, so counseling is worth every penny! We are still beginners at caring for each other’s needs and counseling has given us tools to reach greater heights. I loved investing in this way. When we work together we are so much stronger.
We are Investing in our Relationships. We are investing by making sure that we have ample time with our closest friends and family. We are very blessed to be able to find time to give to the people we love most. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with my brother Mike and his wife Edna this year, along with our nieces and nephew. We love seeing them grow up. Ann has had a few opportunities to spend time in her hometown with her friends and family as well.
We are Investing in our Education. An education is extremely valuable, and for us it never stops. We are always reading together. I love teaching Ann whatever I’m learning and I love learning from her as well. I hope to finish my American Mountain Guiding Certification in the next year and both of us want to get our sky diving “B” License soon. We just put Rosetta Stone on my computer, so a new language might even be in our cards.
We are Investing in Metal. That may sound weird but whatever is left over we store in metal. In fact we stopped calculating our wealth in US dollars but instead keep track of the number of ounces that we have. We believe that one day this will pay off greatly. We love it when the price of metal drops because we are at a place in our life where we can keep accumulating it. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that our nation has greatly overextended itself between war and welfare programs. Folks will eventually loose trust in our fiat money system and we hope to be ready before that happens. We hope that when times get really hard we will be able to sustain our ministries.
If you think of us, please continue to pray for us. We covet your prayers. Pray that God would lead us in how we invest the little that we have. And pray for our marriage. We believe you praying helps, if we didn’t think it did, we wouldn’t ask for it.